PR sure is a-changing. It is no longer a matter of churning out press releases and bagging interviews, compiling clippings and counting column-inches. Now we have to “integrate” with social media. And what’s this content marketing everyone seems to be talking about? And should PR practitioners bother with it?
It turns out, the answer is Yes!
But First, Definitions
Much earlier, on this blog, I posted this definition of PR:
“PR builds awareness and credibility for your company, product or service – which is critical for entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
The Content Marketing Institute, which I assume to be an authority in content marketing, defines it as:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
It’s obvious that PR and content marketing both contribute to the business bottom line. However, there are distinctions.
PR is higher up in the sales funnel, creating awareness and credibility. On the other hand, content marketing takes care of the lower portions of the sales funnel, attracting leads, converting them into customers, and keeping them happy.
Despite this distinction, though, both PR and content marketing make use of content to propel them.
Content in PR and Marketing
If PR and marketing are engines, content is the fuel. You can’t do PR without stories or seeds of stories, after all. You have to keep coming up with new content and new story ideas to keep the PR engine running.
Others liken content to currency. Content is the currency with which you acquire people’s attention, interest, patronage and loyalty.
Content for PR and content for marketing are not and should not be exclusive. In fact, they dovetail each other beautifully. They are not distinct and in fact should be consistent for maximum impact.
For example, marketing content can be the seeds for PR content. PR can repurpose marketing content into press releases, video news releases, and media pitches. Plus, don’t look now, but lots of content in social networks like YouTube and Twitter end up in news rooms. Effective content marketing helps you get found by journalists.
At the same time, good PR facilitates content marketing. If you’ve been doing your PR right, it’ll be much easier for you to get influencers to publish and share your marketing content. Your PR would have helped them to be aware of you and know you’re a company or person worth being associated with. Moreover, media coverage can be the germ for marketing content.
Here’s an infographic that summarizes the different types of content for marketing that businesses can produce (it’s exhaustive as of this writing but new types will inevitably come up):
PR & Marketing: Together Forever?
Now we see how content for PR and marketing support, build on, and feed off of each other. If PR and marketing are still operating within silos, this is hurting your company. Integration is key.